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Legend: Six of Shields, Castle of Maidens

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Legend: Six of Shields, Castle of Maidens


Although there is a serious undertone to this card, when I look at the Legend Six of Shields and consider the Castle of Maidens, I cannot help but remember the parody from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In that scene Sir Galahad the Pure encounters the Castle Anthrax from which shines the false grail beacon and has to be rescued from the desires of 150 seductive women by Sir Lancelot the Brave. In this image, there is certainly a look of admiration in the women's eyes for their handsome, gentlemanly and powerful rescuer. The woman with long curly red hair dressed in a regal green cloak is holding Galahad's right hand in both of hers, in lingering and perhaps proprietary gratitude.

But this card goes quite a bit deeper, speaking of Galahad rescuing the women from captivity, rape and murder, and restoring the governance of the castle to its rightful feminine heir. While a castle can be a symbol of security, stability and authority, in its negatives is speaks of possession, exploitation and cruelty. Galahad in effect gives the women's bodies and souls - their castles - back to them so that they are the rightful sovereigns of their own selves.
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First impressions that seem to never go away... it almost looked like an engagement or wedding ceremony when I saw this card the first time. It's one of those warm fuzzy feeling cards... for hopeless romantics such as myself.

I've noticed the expressions change on the faces of the women given their level of experience and personality. The younger ones are practically having "vapors", thinking this guy is all that and more, while some of the older women look more suspicious and distrustful, like they've heard that before and don't believe it one bit.

In Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom, she talks about unequal relationships, where one is subserviant to another or it's not that great but better than the alternative... which in light of the abuse these women were saved from... really does fit this card well. Why women (or men) stay in abusive or harmful relationships, because it is atleast some sort of relationship or they are too fearful of what is out there, that even tho' it's bad and bad for them, there is some sort of security there if they stay, they still have what they need in the physical sense, even tho emotionally and mentally and spiritually it is negative.

The six pentacles is a deep card full of so many meanings. Here the women get what they need, their freedom and home and Galahad takes their thanks and gratitude and goes on his merry way... giving what is needed and they are taking what they can accept... although from the looks of it, they'd be perfectly willing to accept a lot more of what he's got to give. LOL

It's not so much about the have's giving to the have nots in this card, as in getting what you need and deserve in order to achieve a balance. It is giving what you feel is required to achieve that balance... hmmmm, sometimes that isn't always equal there either. Giving just enough to get by, getting just enough to get by... still creates a balance, but may not get the harmony that is required to keep that balance. So one of my old songs comes to mind...
You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need.
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Haha! Yes! Monty Python and the Holy Grail - also my first thought when I looked at this card. I must say, in many ways this is one of my least favourite cards. The sappy expression on the face of the woman in green really grates with me.
But, as usual with this deck, there is more to see than first impressions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
It's not so much about the have's giving to the have nots in this card, as in getting what you need and deserve in order to achieve a balance. It is giving what you feel is required to achieve that balance... hmmmm, sometimes that isn't always equal there either. Giving just enough to get by, getting just enough to get by... still creates a balance, but may not get the harmony that is required to keep that balance. So one of my old songs comes to mind...
You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need.
What I like about this card, as opposed to the RWS 6 of Pentacles, is that Galahad and the women are physically "all on the same level." They are all standing together in an informal group, unlike the formal appeal and self-subjugation of the RWS card. There is a sense of giving and receiving on both sides - it's not just one way (although I don't think G is interested in what the women want to give!). There is the sense of all helping each other rather than taking a fixed posture of being either the Giver or Receiver. Here there's at least an attempt at equality, and less of a sense that the social hierarchy is fixed and permanent.
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There is something else that just grabbed me... G gave them back their lives, their home, their independance and they are thanking him for that... that is obvious. I'm sure they despaired of ever regaining any of that.

But I just remembered another meaning for 6 Shields, the return or or finding something you thought you had lost forever.

With that thought comes another, letting go of something, giving someone the opportunity to make choices in the direction they take their lives, to leave, to come back or not. It's taking a risk to do allow that sort of freedom, but a neccessary one to remain on equal footing... especially in relationships... be they physical or whatever. One has to have freedom and equality to give and take and maintain harmony, that the bond is given freely and without strings attatched and is like that hand shake, that gesture of trust and honor and gratitude...

Oh now I remember why I think of this as marriage... it was the handholding... reminded me of handfasting. The promise to try and give things a fair shake.
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